Crash victim and boyfriend had been in verbal disagreement prior to crash. Speed was factor, MSP says.

March 18, 2016

MI_-_State_Police_logo_mspBy Rob Alway and Allison Scarbrough of MCP staff.

HAMLIN TOWNSHIP — More details have come out about a crash on M-116 (North Lakeshore Drive) that occurred Wednesday night and caused serious injury to a 20-year-old woman.

Michigan State Police issued a press release today stating that the investigators have determined that Shelby Sowle and her 22-year-old boyfriend had been involved in a verbal disagreement earlier in the night. The press release stated that it is believed the two got into separate vehicles and traveled south on Lakeshore Drive/M-116. It is at this time that Sowle lost control of her vehicle while traveling at what is believed to be a high rate of speed, ran off the roadway and struck several trees. The MSP did not identify Sowle in the press release. However, several sources have verified with MCP that she was the victim.

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MSP reports the investigation is still ongoing.  Speed is believed to be a factor, but alcohol is not. The 22-year-old boyfriend is cooperating with authorities.

Witness Al Geist said he and his wife, Teri Wilson, watched Sowle’s car travel south on Lakeshore Drive/M-116 and then go down the side of the road into some trees about 200 feet from the Lincoln Hills Golf Club entrance. The car struck a tree and was in “thick brush,” Geist said. He turned his vehicle around and went back to the scene while his wife called 911. Geist said at that point another vehicle had also stopped to render aid. Officers from Ludington Police Department were the first on the scene.

Geist said he did not see anyone else in the vehicle, which the MSP press release confirmed that she was the only occupant of the vehicle.

A motel employee at Motel Lakewood, at 1934 N. Lakeshore Dr., Sowle, who has an address on North James St., in Ludington, had been staying at the motel for about three weeks. The motel is located at the intersection of M-116 and North Lakeshore Drive, about half mile from the crash site. Sowle’s boyfriend was staying with her at the motel the first week, the employee said. “But I haven’t seen his truck on a regular basis since the first week,” she said. She said Sowle and her boyfriend work for local dairy farms.

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